2020 Second Base Rankings – Fantasy Baseball

Second base is probably the most shallow positions on the infield for 2020. But, there are also plenty of players who have multi-position eligibility, so the flexibility can’t hurt. I also noticed that there are a ton of second basemen that can provide batting average late in drafts. I’m talking after pick 300 late. Check out the rankings table and below and let me know your thoughts. Below the table, I cover many of the top 35 players with a mini-deep dive backing up my ranking for each player. These rankings are for standard 5×5 roto categories. Previous Ranks: Catcher, First Base

Second Base Rankings - FreezeStats 2020

1Jose AltuveAstros
2Ketel MarteDiamondbacks
3Gleyber TorresYankees
4Ozzie AlbiesBraves
5DJ LeMahieuYankees
6Keston HiuraBrewers
7Whit MerrifieldRoyals
8Jonathan VillarMarlins
9Jeff McNeilMets
10Max MuncyDodgers
11Mike MoustakasReds
12Danny SantanaRangers
13Eduardo EscobarDiamondbacks
14Gavin LuxDodgers
15Brandon LoweRays
16Cavan BiggioBlue Jays
17Tommy EdmanCardinals
18Cesar HernandezIndians
19Robinson CanoMets
20Ryan McMahonRockies
21Michael ChavisRed Sox
22Rougned OdorRangers
23Garrett HampsonRockies
24Kolten WongCardinals
25Kevin NewmanPirates
26Nick SolakRangers
27Dee GordonMariners
28Luis ArraezTwins
29Howie KendrickNationals
30Starlin CastroNationals
31Tommy La StellaAngels
32Mauricio DubonGiants
33Jonathan SchoopTigers
34Carter KieboomNationals
35Hanser AlbertoOrioles
36Luis UriasBrewers
37Jurickson ProfarPadres
38Nick MadrigalWhite Sox
39Jose PerazaRed Sox
40Adam FrazierPirates
41Scooter GennettGiants
42Brendan RodgersRockies
43Franklin BarretoAthletics
44Isan DiazMarlins
45Enrique HernandezDodgers
46Wilmer Flores
47Nico HoernerCubs
48Aledmys DiazAstros
49Nicky LopezRoyals
50David BoteCubs
51Eric SogardBrewers
52Brian Dozier
53Shed LongMariners

The lack of steals in 2019 is a major concern which is why Jose Altuve is no longer a first-round talent. He surpassed 30 home runs for the first time in 2019 and did it in under 600 plate appearances! I’m not expecting a repeat in power but view him as more of a 25-10 type player with a .300+ batting average hitting in one of the best lineups in baseball. Ketel “One” Marte was a massive breakout last season and I was loving it! His skills growth was fantastic in his age-25 season, so there’s no reason to expect major regression provided the ball remains bouncy. Ditto, what I said about Altuve minus the elite lineup around him. Gleyber Torres showed that his power is for real mashing 38 home runs in 2019! But, I am skeptical, but then again he’s only 23 years old. The speed certainly isn’t there and I wouldn’t project him higher than a .275 average but 30 home runs feel like a lock.

Ozzie Albies is another young stud at second base who I believe still has 30-20 upside. He’s slotted to hit second behind Ronald Acuna and in front of Freddie Freeman so runs and RBI will be plentiful. Even if he repeats his power and stolen base production from a year ago, he’s still a top-50 player. DJ LeMahieu‘s swing is made for Yankee Stadium. I’ve said this before and I know you’ve heard it before. He earned his power outburst and his 39 Barrels was a career-high. His average exit velocity last was 91.7 mph which ranked 19th in all of baseball. So I believe he can hit .300 with 22-25 homers while potentially leading the league in runs leading off for the Yankees. Keston Hiura has a bright future. There’s a 30 homer, 20 steal season in his future. He crushed the ball in his rookie year. But, his strikeouts didn’t match his previous seasons in the minors. They shot up. His contact rates are very poor. I think he sold out for power and reaped the benefits without feeling the regression. So maybe he hits .260 with 30 homers or .285 with 22-25 homers.

Can Whit Merrifield recapture 35-40 steals in 2020? I’d rank him higher if I thought he could. He also has two consecutive seasons with over 700 PA. The odds are against him doing it for the third time. I’ll take the 12 home runs and 25 steals he’ll give you and build your roster from there. The move to Miami shouldn’t hurt Jonathan Villar‘s playing time or stolen base ceiling but his power won’t play in Marlins Park. Moving the fences in will help a little but check out the difference in the home run park factors between Camden and Marlins Park. I’d expect something closer to his 2018 which makes him a solid sixth or seventh-round pick but should not be going inside the top 50. Jeff McNeil has some impressive projections that look similar to DJ’s. McNeil’s extremely high contact rate and high line drive approach will provide a strong batting average. I’m not a full believer in his power and he doesn’t provide great speed. He’s similar to DJ but with less power and a much weaker surrounding cast.

I discussed Max Muncy and Danny Santana here in 1B rankings. Mike Moustakas goes from one favorable park to another in Cincinnati. Based on my home run park factors, GABP ranks as the number one venue and it’s favorable to all fields. The Reds have improved this offseason and Moustakas is primed for his first 100 RBI season batting cleanup behind Eugenio Suarez. The addition of Shogo Akiyama as a potential leadoff hitter should be understated as he’s, by all accounts, an OBP stud. Expect 35-100 with a .250 average from Moose. Eduardo Escobar may have outperformed his earned home runs but he also boosted his pulled fly ball percentage in addition to hitting his fly balls at a higher exit velocity. He’s definitely a candidate to regress if the ball is de-juiced but should hit in the middle of the Diamondbacks lineup. I like his ability to hit .260-.270 with 25-28 homers next year.

This is a lofty ranking for Gavin Lux especially since he doesn’t have a guaranteed everyday role. Manager Dave Roberts has discussed giving Lux some time in the outfield to get him in the lineup. I’m ranking him based on his skill and potential because I think he’ll get the playing time. Justin Turner and Corey Seager have not been pillars of health either. I’m projecting Lux for about 500-550 PA and he should provide at least 20 homers and 10 steals given that playing time. Brandon Lowe has legitimate power but also a potential batting average risk. He had a 19.1% SwStr% which explains his 34% K rate in 2019. The only reason he didn’t hit below .250 was thanks to an inflated .377 BABIP. His batted ball profile portends an above-average BABIP but even still, he’s likely to regress somewhere between .230 and .240 this year. The 30-homer upside with 8-10 steals is why he’s ranked here.

I could go back and forth all day with Cavan Biggio. I’ve had many discussions on Twitter about him. He’s destined for a sub-.250 batting average due to his extreme patience and heavy pull rate. His metrics are decent and his speed is very good. Given his walk rate, he could stick in the two-hole for the Blue Jays or struggle and drop to the bottom of the order. I’d expect a .230 average with 15-18 homers and 20 steals. Tommy Edman is a guy I won’t be drafting. He’s being taken around 125 and I just don’t get it. His power is not real and the playing time is not guaranteed. He does seem to be a stolen base threat but if he goes 10-20 with meh counting stats, I’d just rather look elsewhere.

Cesar Hernandez is a hidden gem in 2020. Prior to last season, Hernandez had three-straight .350+ OBP seasons. I think he’ll get back to it next year and if Mercado struggles out of the two-hole, Hernandez will jump in. His power isn’t great but his sprint speed is still in the 88th percentile, so I think he can reach 20 steals on an aggressive Indians team. So, he’s basically Edman but 100 picks cheaper. Robinson Cano is not dead! His hard-hit% and exit velocity were both inside the top 20% of the league last year. Additionally, his zone contact was still a very impressive 89% last year. He won’t hit 25 homers thanks to a low launch angle but should provide around a .275 batting average with 18-20 homers and 85+ RBI hitting behind Alsono and McNeil.

I covered Ryan McMahon and Michael Chavis in the 1B rankings here. If I knew Rougned Odor was going to be given 100% run all year, I’d bump him up. The problem is the fact that the Rangers are in win-now mode and have other options like Nick Solak. Odor can’t be running wild on the bases getting thrown out 50% of the time. If he gets the playing time, he’s a lock for 30 home runs and should chip in 8-10 swipes. Don’t expect anything better than a .240 average though. I just don’t trust the Rockies to play Garrett Hampson every day or even guarantee him 450+ PA in 2020. His talent was on display in September when he hit five homers and stole nine bags but the frustrating inconsistency that the Rockies display is maddening. If he somehow receives 500 PA+, I’d rank him somewhere between Lux and Biggio but I’m not that confident.

I’m not buying Kolten Wong and his career-year. I think the 24 steals will be a career-best and I don’t believe him to be a double-digit home run hitter. So, his defense will keep him in the lineup but I’d project eight homers and 15-18 steals. Kevin Newman might just be a poor man’s Tommy Edman or Kolton Wong. Kind of gross. There’s some speed which is intriguing, but his power is next to nothing. He might hit six to eight homers and steal 15-18 bags. Nick Solak doesn’t have a starting gig thanks to the Todd Frazier signing. That’s really too bad because Solak may just be better than Frazier right now. There’s still plenty of opportunities because, in addition to playing second and third base, he can play the outfield. Currently, the Rangers are running Willie Calhoun out in LF which is just a nightmare defensively. Given the inconsistency of Odor, the age of Frazier, and the poor defensive outfield, Solak should play three to five days a week with a chance for more.

We know what Dee Gordon has become and it’s not valuable in an era when guys like Freddy Galvis are hitting 20+ homers. Since he gives you nothing in the power department, he’d need to steal 40 bases to provide some value and those days are gone. Luis Arraez continues to be bumped to the back of the lineup, especially with the addition of Josh Donaldson. He doesn’t have much power or speed but should hit .300. He’s the batting average version of Dee Gordon. The Nationals are stockpiling second and third basemen. Starlin Castro will likely split time with Asdrubal Cabrera, Carter Keiboom, and mix in a little Howie Kendrick as well. Castro’s value in the past has been with volume. It took him 676 PA in 2019 to compile 22 homers and 86 RBI. I’d project him for around 500-550 PA this year. So, maybe 15 HR and 70 RBI. To no one’s surprise, Tommy La Stella was one player who outperformed his earned home run metric by a ton. I won’t buy into his partial season breakout. Based on this ranking, I’m not a believer that he can perform at that high level for a full season.

Outside of NL-Only and 20-team formats, you’re not likely to roster these guys. That being said, Mauricio Dubon is interesting to me. He has good foot speed and has been slapped with a 60-grade hit tool to go with essentially league-average raw power. He hit a career-best 24 home runs (across Triple-A and MLB) and stole 13 bases. He also stole as many as 38 in 2017 before a devastating knee injury derailed his 2018. The move to San Francisco hinders his power but it’s not so bad for right-handed pull power. With the White sox going all in this year, I’d expect Nick Madrigal up with the big club by May. He doesn’t have any power but he has speed and struck out just 16 times in 532 PA in 2019! Yes, you read that right. He could hit .300 immediately and steal 15-18 bases. Carter Kieboom is blocked right now but probably has the best upside of any player after Nick Solak. Hanser Alberto is a hyper-aggressive hitter but hit contact rate shot through the roof last year. He’s guaranteed to play on a bad Orioles team and should hit 10-12 homers and chip in a few steals. But, it’s his batting average that should boost his value. If you’re looking for batting average late, he’s your guy.

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